https://servicedesign.blog.essex.gov.uk/2019/06/21/weeknotes-17-21-june/

Weeknotes 17-21 June

It’s been an eclectic week where essex.gov.uk work has crossed over with service patterns, go-live work has crossed over with post go-live work and a retrospective. It feels like things are nicely tied up, even if we’re a bit strung out.

Content

Hannah’s been on a fast-track training model. She's also been ensuring everything’s above board with the Trading Standards section. She had a kick off meeting that ensures that we’re iterating on the content that forms our go-live offering on essex.gov.uk.

Caroline M’s been looking at some accessibility work and checking for broken links ahead of go-live.

Sheila and I have continued finessing our creating content workshop, and also had a chat with Nic and Bhupinder about how our content work could help with some of the service patterns work.

Sheila’s also been reviewing the content of some of our online forms. Making these better will be key for the next phase in our quest for better content and ultimately better user journeys.

Caroline A’s been iterating away at the Energy, climate change and environment pages, and also making sure the site is water tight before go-live.

Service design

Bhupinder’s moved back to working on service patterns and has promptly covered the walls of County Hall with post-its sketching out a decision tree for a user applying for help with home to school transport. Understanding this will help us ensure that people who are eligible apply and people who aren’t don’t.

Nic’s been looking for opportunities to use the service patterns guidance for a ‘check something’ pattern in the wild. It’s really exciting to see ways in which content and service design can give each other a leg up here. Whichever discipline gets to an area first, there’s only so far they can go without the help of the other.

Nic’s also been in London at a FutureGov/NHSX Digital Leaders session exploring how a design mindset can break down complex problems, and eventually transform whole organisations.

User research

Georgiana went up to Newcastle for GDS’s three day user research training course. They discussed theory, did practical workshops, and swapping stories about how service design was faring at their respective organisations. She’s come back with loads of insights, and hopefully some gossip.

Ben’s been getting into the service patterns work and started thinking about how to test the ‘check something’ service pattern for different user groups.

Devs

Martin’s finally had a chance to start work on improving our development workflow, which is pretty fundamental to the success of any future digital projects. He’s also made the last few updates to the essex.gov.uk site before go-live.

Purvi, as usual, has been putting in a massive shift to make sure everything goes without a hitch.

Team highlight

As well as everything else, we had a two day retrospective for the essex.gov.uk project. It was a great chance for the team to reflect on how far we’ve come. From Helen, Nic, Sheila Collette and Caroline sitting in a bare office in C block in January last year to a 15-strong team of digital professionals, colleagues and friends, in an agile space, soon to have a new website under our belts and with plenty more on the horizon.

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